R Pearmain & Son (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
R Pearmain and Son of Wickford took first open and first section E with a five year old, chequer hen on 747mpm over 1,029km. Dickie and Steve's first in the clock has been eighteenth open from Marseille in 2012 and in 2013 it was the partners second bird from Perpignan, taking fiftieth open. The parents of the dam of this hen were obtained from Alan Parker of Clitheroe and the sire is a direct Nico Volkens, being a son of Barbarella. The partners timed a second pigeon, a five year old hen on 563mpm to also take tenth open and tenth section E. This hen was fifth open from Marseille in 2013 and fifteenth open in 2012 and is closely related to Mary from Donegal, which won from Perpignan last season and contains the bloodlines of Volken's Barbarella and Lance. Dickie and Steve only sent these two hens to Marseille so had one hundred percent returns from a difficult race. Their second on the clock, now named Marseille Maur, qualifies for a certificate of merit having been in the top fifteen three times to date.
The UK winner from Marseille, Donegal Girl (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
Second Open for Bill Knox
Second open and second section E was timed by SR and WH Knox of Tyler Hill and was a four year old cock on 741mpm after 982km. Bred later in the season in 2010, this cock flew an extensive channel programme in 2013 and had been to Cannappville, Saran, Pithivers and Agen this season, prior to Marseille. Sent sitting seven day eggs on the day of basketing, its bloodlines come from J Murray of Coxhoe, being inbred to Stranraer Simon.
Lee & Kevin Buddle (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
Lee and Kevin Buddle from Dover clocked a six year old cock on 662mpm over 957km to take third open and third section E. Named Mike, this cock was bred for the partners by Mike Mitchell of Dover and contains direct Herman Van Helmond, old Jan Aarden, bloodlines that Mike obtained from Belgium. Mike was thirteenth open from Agen three weeks prior to Marseille having been sent to gain fitness for this race. This is this cock's eighth international race prize with the British International Championship Club. Lee and Kevin's second pigeon, a nine year old hen on 628mpm, took fifth open and fifth section E. Named Kendall, the sire of this hen is a direct son of Paul Kendall's Ashdown and the dam is a great-granddaughter of his Morning Glory. Both pigeons had three races with the East of England Continental Club before being sent to Agen with the BICC and then Marseille with the international.
Mr & Mrs Rhodes
Fourth open and fourth section E was a five year old cock on 662mpm after 970km, clocked at the Aylesham loft of Mr and Mrs Steven Rhodes. A half-brother to the pigeon that the partners timed to take fourteenth open Barcelona, the sire of this cock is a direct Jac van de Wegen and is a grandson of De Stefan. The dam is a sister to the late George Bates' AJ and Silver Jay with a little Fear Brothers' blood in the mix. This cock was sent feeding large squeakers and driving its hen to nest once again. Mr and Mrs Rhodes clocked a second pigeon to take fifteenth open and fifteenth section on 286mpm.
Robert Harris & son, Alfie with Robbie's Girl
Robert Harris of Ramsgate timed a four year old hen on 626mpm over 975km to take sixth open and sixth section E. This was Robert's only entry for Marseille and she was sent sitting nine day eggs on the day of basketing. Having obviously battled the weather, this hen was wet and had pink wattles when it arrived but crucially, it hadn't lost any body weight. The breeding is the same as Robert's sixth open from Pau, with the bloodlines of the Bruggeman Brothers and Piet Lazerooms and a full brother to this hen won the Kent Combine this year from Le Mans. Preparation for Marseille included three inland races and then Alençon, Tours and Pau with the BICC. She could have been timed in racetime from Pau, but Robert had already timed in three pigeons and had not had his clock re-set. Robert's son, Alfie, has named this hen Robbie's Girl.
David Hales (l) & Duncan Goodchild (r)
David Hales of Hockley clocked a five year old cock on 569.8mpm over 1,025km to take seventh open and seventh section E. David is helped with the pigeons by his good friend Duncan Goodchild and the pigeon David clocked first is named Duncan and was last year's Marseille winner. Flown on the widowhood system, Duncan contains the bloodlines of Alan Parker and Jim Biss. Duncan should have been sent to the Pau international race but he decided to pick a fight in another nestbox and so was left at home to recover. David's second pigeon, a three year old cock named Dave's Red was timed on 568mpm took ninth open and ninth section E. Dave's Red is a half-brother to last year's third open Barcelona winner which flew seven hundred and nine miles, being timed on the second day in a very tough race. This cock's breeding is Alan Parker x Hagen brothers.
Eighth open and eighth second E was a three year old cock on 569.2mpm after 974km clocked by F Knowles and Son of Wingham, near Canterbury. Sent sitting fourteen day old eggs the sire of this blue cock is the winner of ninth open from Barcelona and contains all the best of the Malibu Stud bloodlines that have served Simon well over the years. Preparation for Marseille included three, one hundred mile, training races and then two short channel races. Simon clocked a second bird, a four year old cock, on 354mpm to take fourteenth open and fourteenth section. Again raced on the natural system, this cock was sent feeding a small squeaker and contains Mick Parish bloodlines. Simon's third on the clock took sixteenth open on 284mpm.
John Underdown & granddaughter, Molly
J Underdown of Basildon clocked his first pigeon, a chequer cock, on 552mpm over 1,024km to take eleventh open and eleventh section E. This was the same cock that finished at third open in the 2013 BICC Marseille race. Lightly raced with the East of England Championship Club, it was sent sitting chipping eggs. John's pigeon was bred by Schofield and Greetham and contains Jed Hinchcliffe (NFC King's Cup winner) and George Bates' Fear Brothers bloodlines.
Alan Turner (l) & Bill Knox (r)
It was pouring with rain at the Dover loft of A J Turner when he clocked his seven year old hen on 510mpm over 966kms to take twelfth open and twelfth section E. Alan, also known as Wally, timed his game bird at 7.40pm BST. This was the third race from Marseille for this hen as she was clocked in race time in both 2012 and 2013. This season she was sent feeding two small squeakers after being lightly raced earlier in the season. This hen's bloodlines are the old Delbars that have flown so well for Wally over the years.
Geoff & Clayton Preece
G M Preece and Son of Dover timed a six year old, German rung, cock to take thirteenth open and thirteenth section E on 362mpm. Geoff and Clayton timed one of a batch of youngsters that they purchased from their good friends at the Stoffel-Ophoff loft in 2008. A reliable, all weather cock, this pigeon is always in the running for a good prize card. Bred down on both sides from the legendary 270, Golden Barcelona, this is this cock's third race from Marseille and its fifth time competing in an international race.
That concludes the report on the provisional result of the British International Championship Club race from Marseille in conjunction with the international race.